Our latest AnxietyIndex study, conducted in the wake of the U.K. riots last month, added a focus on how British adults feel about the mayhem, its causes and possible solutions. Some Britons have become more fearful as a result of the riots, especially the younger generation: While 17 percent of people over 35 said they feel less safe on the streets where they live, 41 percent of 18-34-year-old respondents feel less safe. Many in this cohort are also less forgiving of the young rioters than older generations, with 43 percent saying the punishments of those convicted were not harsh enough vs. 34 percent overall. And just 28 percent said they worry for other young people, compared with more than half of the over-50s.
“Young people are fed up with the marginal few who participated in the riots undermining their voice in society,” says Tony Quinn, head of planning at JWT London. “Youth are usually the drivers of social change, but protests are now being overshadowed by violence.”
The survey, which polled 290 British adults, also pointed to an opportunity for brands to serve as part of the solution. More than two-thirds of young people say they feel more positively toward the brands that helped with the cleanup, and many also feel that brands could play a role by sponsoring youth initiatives, facilities and programs, providing training opportunities and facilitating the involvement of young people in their communities. For more on the findings, download the full report here.